Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, July 23, 2009 --- CRARR has just achieved another victory against racism in employment imposed by the American ITAR regulations.

In December of last year, CRARR asked the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission to declare the requirements of two job postings on the Emploi-Quebec website by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada to be discriminatory. The job offers in question required that all applicants be in conformity with the conditions of the Canadian Government's Controlled Goods Program as well as the US International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and all other government security measures.

The ITAR regulations apply to all military contracts granted to businesses located outside of the U.S. These regulations are such that employees holding the nationality of a country considered hostile to American national security are banned from accessing information, products and services related to such contracts. Within Canada's aerospace sector, the ITAR rules lead to discrimination against Canadian citizens and permanent residents born in over twenty different countries including China, Cuba, Lebanon, Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, Vietnam and Venezuela, regardless of how long the persons have lived in Canada. Since 2007, CRARR has publicly challenged these regulations that violate civil rights as well as Canadian sovereignty.

In its complaint, CRARR submits that the explicit reference to the ITAR regulations in the job postings on their website can be likened to a modern version of ads or job posts where employers could legally and explicitly say “No Blacks” or “Irish Need Not Apply”. “The words may have changed, yet the effect remains the same,” CRARR stated.

Last May, the Commission announced that following its interventions, Emploi-Quebec would block the two job postings in question from appearing online as well as preventing them from being reactivated at a later date. Furthermore, Emploi-Québec has instituted a monitoring system that aims to ensure that no job posting appearing on its on-line placement site will contain any ITAR-related requirement.

Since 2007, CRARR has assisted victims of ITAR such as Mr. Jaime Vargas, an intern with Bell Helicopter Texton who was exposed to differential and discriminatory treatments when Venezuela, his country of origin, was added to ITAR's list of proscribed countries in August 2006. Mediation between Vargas and the company having recently failed, the case is expected to be brought to the Human Rights Tribunal, where a similar case against a Montreal company is currently being argued.

CRARR invites all persons with knowledge of job postings that require ITAR compliance or who have themselves been victims of discrimination in the course of their training or employment to contact CRARR in order to take legal action.